For the first time in history, the Goshen College baseball team will be embarking on a trip to Nicaragua. This trip is exclusive to the baseball team in which 27 players will be staying with host families, just as students do on a full semester of a Study-Service Term.
This trip to Nicaragua is considered half of a Study Service Term. The players will not only experience new culture; they will also get credit for this trip. Each member of the baseball team will be paired with a host family in which one person of that family has some relation to baseball.
“I’m curious to see what it will be like getting paired with players from a different country. I hope they watch the MLB [Major League Baseball] so we can talk about our favorite teams and players,” said Preston Carr, a junior outfielder for the Maple Leafs.
Along with doing service work for communities like the typical SST experience, the team will also be hosting baseball clinics for local kids and playing local teams.
“I wanted to go because I believe this will be an outstanding experience,” said Carr. “I also want to see how baseball intertwines with their culture. The four credits that come along with it doesn’t hurt either.”
The majority of the baseball team will be attending this event. Coach Alex Childers said, “I am excited to see how this will go. I believe this will be a good experience for the team.”
This trip will hopefully be the first of many like it. The trip is targeted exclusively for baseball players and if it is well organized and beneficial, the softball and volleyball teams from Goshen College will embark on a similar trip to a different location next year.
The team will be in Nicaragua during the May Term of this school year. When asked, James Stricker, a first-year on the team, said, “I think my favorite part of this trip will be meeting new people and experiencing a different culture. I’m really nervous about learning a new language. Sometimes I don’t even speak English correctly so I hope I don’t mess up Spanish too bad.”
When asked if there was a certain reason he wanted to go on this trip, Stricker said, “The baseball team is going. I wasn’t going to go on SST but I figured since I was going to know most of the guys going, it would take a lot of pressure off of me.”
Overall, the players that are going are excited about the opportunity and hope this trip provides many great experiences. They hope to not only leave their mark through their service in the communities, but to also sharpen their skills in baseball while playing with the locals.